SoonerPoll: Fan base grows for ONEOK Field, BOK Center as downtown gets economic boost
Support for downtown's BOK Center and ONEOK Field has grown substantially in the past four years, a poll shows.
An Oklahoma Poll of 400 Tulsans conducted Nov. 1-5 indicates that 84 percent of likely voters have a favorable impression of the BOK Center and 63 percent approve of the 2008 decision to move the Tulsa Drillers Double A baseball team downtown.
In 2009, the last time the Oklahoma Poll asked those questions, 75 percent of likely voters viewed the BOK Center favorably and only 43 percent supported moving the Drillers.
The latest poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Poll participant Mary Smith said she initially opposed ONEOK Field because she disliked that downtown property owners were forced to pay an annual assessment for its construction.
Now, she strongly supports the Drillers' move.
"To think that they made the people in that area pay for the building, I thought that was wrong. But I know it has been to their advantage, and it has really been to everybody's advantage, (with) the other things that it's brought in," Smith said. "It's a beautiful, beautiful stadium."
The BOK Center opened in 2008, and ONEOK Field opened in 2010.
City officials argued that the facilities would help revitalize downtown by bringing visitors and boosting property values a prediction supported by a report this year that recently sold properties downtown have increased in value by an average of 70 percent since 2008.
Seventy-one percent of participants in the 2009 Oklahoma Poll believed at the time that the BOK Center and ONEOK Field announcement had helped revitalize downtown; 24 percent did not.
About the Oklahoma Poll
The poll of 401 likely voters was conducted November 1-5 by SoonerPoll.com, using a random digit-dialing technique that included cellphone and landline telephone numbers. Results were weighted by gender, age and party. The poll was sponsored by the Tulsa World. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.
Photo by nmajdan